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DorsetB 

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Hi all

My first post, so hope it is in the right section!

I bought a suit from Fragile Planet a couple of years ago, the all in one type.

The first time I put it on, straight out of the bag, I got attacked and the suit was covered in stings in no time.

"No problem" I thought, must need a first wash, so washed it the same way as I do my other suit: run a rinse through the washing machine first, them wash in washing soda only, then hang outside to dry naturally.

This made no difference at all, and I reverted to my original suit with no problems whatsover.

I did notice that one area which was particularly affected was the red stitching on the top pocket (nothing to do with the red since it's a colour the bees can't see, so must have been a dye chemical (?) in the thread itself).

I rang FP to mention this and was told that they had other customers report that the top pocket "had caused a problem" and that it might be an idea to remove it, which I promptly did.

This reduced the problem, but did not eliminate it, so I discarded it once again, and went back to my original suit again.

A couple of weeks ago, my original suit got wet, and I needed a dry suit pdq, so once again dug out the FP suit.

Same story again: suit covered in stings - I stopped counting at 150.

So I rang FP, and related the entire tale again, explaining that I had purchased it a long time ago, and that I had tried regularly to wear it, and given up every time, whereas my original suit was fine.

The response I got was along the lines of "yes mate, that's bees for you" and "bees are like that", and that it was pointless taking the matter further with them.

I did explain that I was not after a refund, but was merely trying to work out what the problem was with that particular suit - both suits are washed, dried, and stored in exactly the same way, and are even hung up next to each other.

I can only imagine that whatever I do, the suit is now "impregnated" with sting pheromone, as well as the original scent which made the bees react so violently in the first place.

Does anyone have any suggestions as to how I could treat it to make it useable again?

Many thanks for any help anyone can offer!
 

VEG 

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I wash my suits with normal clothes washing powder with no problems you could try that as it may mask the scent that they dont like.
 

newportbuzz 

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i had similar problems for a while and found out what it was for me. i encoutered EFB and wasnt able to get rid of my suit so i boiled it in milton (baby stereliser) stank like hell but i was sure it was safe. so i was happy, till i went out to my bees and they went bezerk have since rinsed it twice and problem went away. so milton really sets them off try masking your suits smell.
 

madasafish 

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Hang your suit up on a branch on a windless day and leave a lighted smoker under it for 30 minutes.
 

Rosti 

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I did notice that one area which was particularly affected was the red stitching on the top pocket (nothing to do with the red since it's a colour the bees can't see, so must have been a dye chemical (?) in the thread itself).
Dorset, you are not going bonkers! My first suit was also from Fragile Planet and exactly as you say the bees went for the red label on the breast pocket, even a docile colony would go for it. I cannot explain it and once it starts the pheromones get the whole apiary going. I also binned the 'red' label. I have not had the wider issue with general stinging that you describe though. It is now a visitor / back-up suit because general stitching quality was also poor (mended several times in a short working life -1&1/2 seasons)

You have nothing to loose really, I would go for a full biological wash cycle plus soda then a rinsing wash and see where it takes you. Stating the obvious but make sure you have removed all stings before washing!
 

oliver90owner 

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Apart from the odour the bees possibly pick up, it might alter their indisposition to it if you were to dye it a different shade to the present (white?) colour? Might there be a annoying (to the bees) reflected spectrum of light?

Just a shot in the 'dark':)

Regards, RAB
 

dolbz 

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Apart from the odour the bees possibly pick up, it might alter their indisposition to it if you were to dye it a different shade to the present (white?) colour? Might there be a annoying (to the bees) reflected spectrum of light?

Just a shot in the 'dark':)

Regards, RAB
To expand on this I believe bees can see into the UV spectrum. Might be worth holding your suit under a UV 'black' light see if it glows or looks different?

Not got a UV light handy? Go clubbing with your bee suit on :cheers2:
 

rbaz 

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That's not good especially if you are a new beek would put you off I would think.
Surely the supplier would want to find out why this happened? to make sure is isn't every suit.
 

MJBee 

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Further to Rab's idea, if you have a Stamp dealer anywhere near you they will have a UV lamp - they use them to detect phosphor markings on stamps.
 

oliver90owner 

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rbaz,

The response I got was along the lines of "yes mate, that's bees for you" and "bees are like that", and that it was pointless taking the matter further with them.

With an attitude like that, their standing, as a supplier, will be damaged, especially when it gets reported on the fora.

I have a list I am steadily compiling of companies/businesses where I see this attitude towards customers and their products. They are at the bottom of my list, for choice of supplier, even if the prices are (sometimes) considerably diverse.

Regards, RAB
 

admin 

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That’s the nice thing about the forum being independent.
I think we are all aware that there are Beekeeping suppliers out there that have owners that at some point in time have been BBKA chairman, presidents county officers ect so could be seen to be safe from to much negative feedback on other beekeeping forums.

Not having any ties does allow use to speak more openly and help each other out when we are parting with our hard earned cash. :cheers2:
 

kazmcc 

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Our bee smocks are from Fragile Planet, with the same red label on the front pocket.....no attempts at stinging, but then again, my ladies are ladies and are very polite :) Even with thunder, torrential rain and wasp attacks, they are very gentle and non aggressive.....but still defend their hive against the other threats vigourously.

I will keep an eye out though in case they make a bee line ( bee line :smilielol5: ) for this part of the suit. Oh, I'm so funny :p
 

little blue 

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just wanted to add... I've had "issues" with Fragile Planet too, and would NOT recommend them at all ....
 

DorsetB 

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Thanks for all your helpful replies. I must admit I had not thought of dyeing my suit, I will try this this winter! In the meantime I wil try a full washing poweder wash and a session above the smoker.

Rosti, thanks for confirming I am not going mad, and that you also had the "red stitching on breast pocket" problem.

I think the problem is that we all know that purchases break, go wrong etc, but the most important thing is the attitude and reaction of the seller to the problem. The guy's name was Tony, I think he may be the owner, manager whatever; with an attitude like that, he can be sure I will not be purchasing from FP again.

On a more positive note, received my first order from Modern Beekeeping this week - nicely packed, with loads of info leaflets included, seems like good quality stuff.
 

Hebeegeebee 

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I think we are all aware that there are Beekeeping suppliers out there that have owners that at some point in time have been BBKA chairman, presidents county officers ect so could be seen to be safe from to much negative feedback on other beekeeping forums.


I'm not convinced that's a valid argument Admin! That aside, there is possibly an issue of 'slander' /libel/deformation and all that nasty legal stuff and posters do need to be sure that they have valid and justifiable comments to make. This protects the forum too!
 

DorsetB 

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I agree, although let's not also forget

"fit for purpose"
"distance selling regulations" and
"Sale of Goods Act"

and of course let's not forget good old "customer service"!.

;)
 

Hebeegeebee 

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I did replace a white piece of thumb elastic on my suit with a black one and that is the point that bees go for.
The suit itself was purchased from one of the main suppliers and has now got gaffa tape on the hat bit as it cannot be sown any more - the plasticky stuff rips. The veil is being sown up now as it is failing. One ankle zip failed which I had to repair and one of the pockets has a hole in it where the stitching has failed, I have already repaired another one Not 2 seasons old and really not good enough IMO.
 

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